Lung Cancer Screening - You Need to Know
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States and has been closely associated with smoking for nearly 50 years. Between 80 to 90 percent of the lung cancer cases are a result of smoking.
It is difficult to diagnose lung cancer early because most people initially lack symptoms that warrant medical attention. It’s not until the disease has progressed, do symptoms such as persistent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath or recurring infections begin to appear. The most common diagnostic test has been X-rays, which are inadequate at picking up lung cancer at an early stage.
When identified in an early stage, lung cancer has a 90 percent cure rate. The lung cancer screening offered at Village Pointe Cancer Center is a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan. This particular screening is only recommended for high-risk populations.
Receive a Lung Cancer Screening
Nebraska Medicine now offers low-dose CT scans as lung cancer screenings for individuals who meet the above criteria:
- Smokers and former smokers
- At least 50 years old
- 20 pack-history, smoking one pack each day for 20 years or two packs each day for 10 years
Screenings are held at the Village Pointe Cancer Center in west Omaha and are all self-pay screenings. The total cost of the lung cancer screening is $200.
To schedule a screening please call 800-922-0000 today.
Lung Cancer Screening Plan
Once a patient has opted into a screening program, it is recommended they receive yearly low-dose CT scan of the chest area until the age 74. Chest X-rays do not qualify as an acceptable screening option.
By participating in the lung cancer screening program at Nebraska Medicine, patients have access to a multidisciplinary team of physicians who have specialty training, are skilled in evaluating, diagnosing and treating abnormal lung lesion.
Current smokers should consider entering a smoking cessation program. Receiving yearly scans will not decrease the risk of developing a lung cancer. Screenings should not be considered as an alternative to smoking cessation.
Other conditions may be incidentally found on the CT scan of the chest. In this instance, the patient and their primary care physician will be notified.
What to Expect After a Low-Dose CT Scan Lung Cancer Screening
Not all lung nodules are cancerous. If a lung nodule has been detected it is important to follow through with all scheduled appointments to determine its cause and origin.
If the lung cancer screening CT scan results are negative and no abnormalities are found, expect to receive a phone call within two business days and a letter in the mail within 7 to 10 business days. This letter will also include a recommendation for an annual low-dose CT scan of the chest based on the screening guidelines.
If the lung cancer screening CT scan should show an abnormality, a nurse from Nebraska Medicine will call you personally. This nurse will also assist you in scheduling an appointment with a thoracic surgeon at the medical center. This appointment will be scheduled within 7 to 14 days. This appointment will be billed to your insurance.
If the lung cancer screening CT scan shows an abnormality that is not related to the lung or lung nodule, a nurse will contact you by phone and make an appointment with an appropriate specialist.
Lung Cancer Specialists
The lung cancer specialists at Nebraska Medicine have specialty training in treating lung cancer patients.
Smoking Cessation Program
Thinking about quitting? Research shows that even people who have smoked for decades will see improvements in their health after they quit. For most people, smoking cessation requires assistance. Programs that address both the psychological and physical addiction to smoking prove to be the most successful at making lasting change. Psychological changes include altering routines and triggers that prompt smoking. The physical addiction is to the nicotine and can require weaning.
For more information, call 800-922-0000 and request the smoking cessation program with Tom Klingeman.
Additional smoking cessation resources
- Tobacco Free Nebraska
- Tobacco Free Nebraska
- Quit Line: 1.800.QUIT.NOW (784-8669)
- Sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
- Tips From Former Smokers
- Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Quit Smoking Today!
- Visit SmokeFree.gov to help you or someone you care about quit smoking.